Dennis Schwartzde Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The film chronicles the uneducated Capone's ruthless rise to power and becoming top dog in the organization, as he deals with corrupt Chicago politicians on his payroll and a corrupt slimy newspaper reporter (Martin Balsam) also on his payroll, who is used to feed him inside scoops and negotiate payoff deals with the politicians. There are also numerous Roaring Twenties gang wars with rivals in the crime organization (the big one being the St. Valentine's Day Massacre that eliminates a good portion of Moran's North Side gang). Capone's nemesis is honest cop Schaefer (James Gregory), who rises through the ranks to eventually become police inspector and is obsessed with putting Capone behind bars. Schaefer finally gets the backing from the politicians, who see the people revolting against them after the reporter is slain and decide to act before they're removed from office, and the Chicago police inspector together with the feds get Capone convicted on tax evasion. Serving seven years of an eleven year stretch in Alcatraz, the now mentally impaired gangster when released soon dies from syphilis. Gregory, not only stars, but acts as narrator.